English draughtsman, photographer and filmmaker, Dean was originally trained as a painter at Falmouth Art College, many of her early works alluded to cinematic elements. Her drawings took the form of storyboards, her taste for storytelling inspired many of her works often based on the possibilities raised by a chance encounter. Notions of time, memory or nautical elements are part of her personal themes. Themes of searching, blurred identities of mysterious people and things also occur in her work. Deanís stories embrace the notion of struggle over elements; hence why the sea is a major protagonist in her work. Her minimal narratives are imbued with a sense of human failure and never ending expectation, resulting from actions that are both heroic and modest. She was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 1998.